Marketers can learn a lot from Kanye West. Here’s why.

When devising new blog ideas for our clients or even our own site, one of the key phrases that always crops up during our discussions is ‘WWKD?’

‘What would Kanye do?’

If Kanye were to join an integrated marketing agency based in the East of England as a marketing executive; what wild, out of left field ideas would he contribute during one of their internal meetings?

I’ve always loved this analogy. It requires you to look beyond the confines of a client’s industry and pushes you to explore new avenues and opportunities others may have not discovered or maybe been too cautious of. When you start to release wild ideas, it provides a basis of genuine conversation, abstracting the core principles of an idea and refining it to make it a much more viable option. It’s a great technique you should definitely use during your next ideation session. This time however, instead of asking what Kanye would do, I looked at what Kanye did.

‘What did Kanye do?’

Back in 2004, his debut album The College Dropout became a pioneering RnB album, combining visceral social commentary with raw Chicago hip hop beats to create a great album. Winning the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album would back that up too. The emotional 808s and Heartbreak took disciplines of electronic music and synthesiser hooks to make a great album. One of Kanye’s most recent solo releases, The Life of Pablo, was partly inspired by traditional gospel music and elements of this helped make it a great album. Kanye ventured further beyond his remit of just RnB music and realised that in order to strengthen his musical prowess, he needed to broaden his knowledge and take himself out of his comfort zone. Arguably, the same could be required by marketers.

My role at StrategiQ is Social Media Marketer. My marketing discipline is designated to ensuring our social media offering achieves the goals of our clients. If I wanted, I could bury my head within social platforms, features and programs without regarding how my specialism is impacting the bigger marketing picture. To take this mindset would prove incredibly inefficient for myself. There’s a big wide world full of ideas out there just waiting to be tapped into.

Recently, I started immersing myself within a number of platforms that tend to be utilised predominantly by our SEO and PPC teams. As a result of my curious nature, I requested access to a few, just to get an understanding of what data could be uncovered and to see if it could prove valuable for my specialism.

Turning search queries into social content

The first platform I wanted to get more of an understanding of was Google Search Console. GSC is an essential tool for understanding what queries get an audience clicking through to your website from Google. The Performance tab delves deeper into query data, giving the user the opportunity to see what the audience is searching for and the terminology or colloquialisms they use. I noticed that our client Bedco were gaining a lot of traffic when users searched for ‘Isle of Man mattresses’. With this knowledge, I started to weight more of our social content towards promoting mattress deals. In contrast, I explored the low clickthrough terms and supported these links with social content in order to generate traffic to the Bedco site, or at least make our audience aware of the content they were missing out on.

The next platform I jumped head first into was AccuRanker. Don’t be fooled by its complicated features, tabs and buttons – it’s actually an incredibly simple interface to navigate! This SEO tool is perfect for learning more about your clients organic keyword performance in comparison to their competitors. For example, the Share of Voice Landing Page graph gave us insight into which salon locations were generating the most traffic for our client Academy Salons. This insight helped me weight more social content to support the lower performing salons and even gave me the data to propose a paid social marketing campaign that would help generate traffic to the landing page and more appointments booked.

The Keyword tab gave me an overview of the keyword terms Academy Salons are visible for, sorted from highest ranking to lowest. As with GSC, this data assisted with content creation when creating the tone of voice within the post copy as well as weighting more content to the lower performing salons in order to generate traffic to those more neglected pages. I was also able to track which salons were performing better than Academy and now regularly track their social performance within the Pages You Should Be Watching tab.

Making a difference with Data Studio

Although it’s not necessarily an SEO-centric platform, I took some time out of my schedule to get to grips with Google Data Studio. The responsibility of reporting tends to fall to account managers, but I wanted to look beyond my core competencies and explore any trends from our existing data that we weren’t currently tapping into – and that’s exactly what happened. One of our US-based clients, Juran, provides on-demand webinars, coaching sessions and materials for those looking to upskill project management within their organisation. Through Juran, project managers earn various belts from yellow to master black – an indication of their level of lean six sigma and DMAIC management knowledge.

Last month, we created a Linkedin campaign, with the objective of encouraging project managers to sign up for our upcoming Yellow, Green and Black Belt courses. The ad sets were split into 3, for each respective belt level. The Black Belt and Green Belt courses were gathering sign-ups. The Yellow Belt course was not. As the Yellow Belt is lower within the project manager chain, the audience size was larger – so the target audience size wasn’t an issue. Was the ad copy effective enough? After reviewing one of their Google Data Studio reports, I noticed that a popular PPC keyword search term for Yellow Belt prospects was ‘yellow belt CEUs’. From this, we amended the ad copy and promoted the continued education unit benefits for those with Project Management Institute certifications. We successfully started to generate a number of leads, making an impact for our clients whilst maintaining their brand values and smashing their targets.

Would Kanye West have been so revered in the music industry if he’d had created 8 albums that simply mirrored the sound and aesthetic of The College Dropout?

via GIPHY

I’ve learned a lot from engaging and immersing myself within platforms and programs that aren’t usually a part of your usual marketing arsenal. Tapping into the potential of other channels – or in Kanye’s case, genres – has unlocked new ideas and laid a platform to discover things we’d have never known about audiences or industries. My key takeaway? Every marketer should be looking beyond their discipline within the marketing service line, to both enhance their marketing prowess and potentially earn kudos and trust from fellow colleagues. Give it a try!

 

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